Ronnie Williams’ hot streak in Modified racing continued Wednesday night at Seekonk Speedway (MA). Just three days removed from his photo-finish victory over Anthony Nocella in the New England Short Track Showdown’s Valenti Modified Series event, Williams took the checkered flag in the Tri-Track Open Modified Series event at Seekonk.
Williams took the lead from Matt Swanson on a restart with 10 laps to go in the 100-lap event, taking the $10,000 Open Wheel Wednesday paycheck along with it.
For Williams, part of the key was pit strategy in the event. Front runners were split between pitting at lap 43 after a caution for a Carl Medeiros spin and pitting on lap 55 after a turn-four incident with Kirk Alexander and Dana DiMatteo.
Williams was among the takers at lap 43, which allowed him to move ahead of contenders such as Ron Silk, Matt Hirschman, Keith Rocco and more who pitted 12 laps later.
“We got a little loose around the halfway mark, and we were one of the first guys to pit,” Williams explained in victory lane. “Just slowly worked our way up there, a lot of guys pitted around lap 60. It was a great race from there.:
It was a quick turnaround for Williams and his team after the New Hampshire triumph, but that made the second trip to victory lane on the week that much sweeter.
“It just shows how good these guys are,” said Williams. “They went back to the shop and worked until 2:30 in the morning. They told me that every 10 minutes today. Hats off to them. This is their win, I’m just fortunate enough to drive the car.”
Tommy Barrett also passed Swanson in the closing laps to take the second position, closing in on Williams over the final green-flag run but ultimately running out of time.
“We started off pretty rough today,” said Barrett. “The car wasn’t very good out of the trailer. They made wholesale changes on the car, and we drove up from 18thto second. I was as fast as Williams, but we weren’t loose enough to go by him. Maybe another couple of laps.”
While pit strategy played a role in Williams’ victory, mechanical gremlins prevented Swanson from playing any strategy game. Due to a suspension issue, Swanson and his team elected to stay out for the duration of the race and protect their track position.
That decision led to Swanson leading the majority of the race before fading to a third-place run in the closing laps.
“We had a rear suspension problem about 20 laps into the race,” said Swanson. “The torque arm was actually falling out of the car. It was just a matter of hanging on. We took over the lead there and hung on to it for a while. We never came in to put a tire on. Once we took the lead, we had what we had and just had to hang on to it.”
Race fans who missed Wednesday’s Tri-Track Open Modified Series feature at Seekonk Speedway can relive the action by watching Speed51’s Summer Thunder TV broadcast of the race by clicking here.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor - Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo